New Natives exhibit shows contemporary Filipino artists in a new light

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 23 April, 2014, 10:48pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 23 April, 2014, 11:06pm

Lightbombs Contemporary


“THIS SHOW REALLY is a microcosm of what’s happening with art from the Philippines,” says Zoe Peña, curator of the “New Natives” exhibition at the Lightbombs Contemporary gallery in Wong Chuk Hang.

The most extensive show of contemporary Filipino art ever seen in Hong Kong, it features work from 28 established and emerging artists in a range of media from photography, collage, painting and illustration to sculpture-based artwork. The show sends strong messages about displacement and identity, issues that resonate throughout a country where more than 2.2 million of its citizens work overseas.

“New Natives also deals with how people deal with identity and how the identity of an artist has very little to do with geography these days,” says Peña. She describes the show as the ideal platform to showcase the country’s booming art scene.

A number of artists are earning an international reputation, including Noberto Roldan, who exhibited in “No Country”, the travelling show from the Guggenheim Museum; Stephanie Syjuco, whose works are part of the Whitney Museum’s permanent collection; Gary-Ross Pastrana, who has his work in the Singapore Art Museum; and Mark Salvatus, the winner of the Sovereign Art Foundation’s Schoeni Prize last year.

Highlights include the mixedmedia print Happy Shizocouple by emerging artist Dex Fernandez, and a surreal acrylic and watercolour painting by Gel Jamlang called Fall that looks at the constraints on women in Philippine society.

Archie Geotina’s 1% Luxury: The Constraints of Public Opinion, a blackand- white painting of crumpled bags, is the artist’s expression of outrage against those who flaunt luxury goods.

“The exhibition brings a microcosm of this complex network to Hong Kong, introducing the canon of contemporary Filipino art to local audiences,” says Peña.

“People are curious about this emerging market and there is growing interest in contemporary art, from the Philippines. This show will help promote the scene and the artists in Hong Kong and globally.”

Some of the other artists featured include Ringo Bunoan, Felix Bacolor, Jed Escueta, Romeo Lee, Wawi Navarroza, Mark Salvatus, Christina Quisumbing Ramilo, Maya Muñoz, Zeus Bascon, Neil Arvin Javier, Tanya Villanueva and Pancho Villanueva.

“It’s amazing to be able to show the talents of these artists to a global audience,” says Peña.


Unit 2B1, 12 Yip Fat Street, Evergreen Industrial Mansion, Wong Chuk Hang. 10am-6pm, by appointment only. Ends May 30. Inquiries: 2499 6066